As recently as last Friday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings was publicly demanding that the White House turn over internal documents related to why Donald Trump ordered that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump be given a security clearance, and why Jared and Ivanka were flagged as security risks to begin with. As Palmer Report loves to point out, smart investigators rarely ask for documents unless they already have at least some of the documents in question. It turns out Cummings is as smart as we thought.
Today we all learned that Elijah Cummings and his committee have indeed had some of the Jared-Ivanka security clearance documents since early February, because someone in the White House leaked the documents to the committee, according to Axios. Why is this so important? For one thing, it means someone in the White House really seems to resent the Trump crime family. But more importantly, it means Cummings is playing four dimensional chess here.
Now that the White House has definitively refused to turn any of the documents over, Cummings is promptly leaking the fact that he already has some of them, without revealing which ones he has. This leaves the White House with no idea what to do next. Should it just cave and turn over all the documents? Should it gamble that the documents Cummings has aren’t the most incriminating ones? Should it run certain documents through a shredder, and gamble that those aren’t the ones Cummings has?
Elijah Cummings can easily win a subpoena fight to get the rest of these documents, simply by showing the judge the documents he does have. He’s clearly playing for keeps here. Keep in mind that he just spent the past month demanding documents he already had. Donald Trump doesn’t know what’s hitting him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report